You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

A.I.: A Spielberg/Kubrick prod’n

GOOD MORNING: What would Stanley Kubrick have thought of “A.I. Artificial Intelligence”? “He would have applauded,” Jan Harlan said to me. Harlan, Kubrick’s brother-in-law, close friend and creator of the WB Home Video “Stanley Kubrick, A Life In Pictures,” added, “Steven was very faithful to Stanley’s vision of the film and at the same time, expressed his own genius. I was moved by every one of his frames. It is a milestone of cinema history.” Harlan saw it completed for the first time two weeks ago at WB with Kathleen Kennedy, who produced with Spielberg and Bonnie Curtis: “I was flabbergasted.” Jan saw it again in New York with Kubrick’s widow (and Harlan’s sister) Christiane, who echoed Harlan’s opinion. Harlan recalled the meeting in 1995 when Kubrick asked Steven for the first time if he would consider directing the movie. “It was then a proposal,” said Harlan. “He (Kubrick ) showed Steven 650 drawings he had made with his vision of the film. It was totally against anything Stanley had done” — to ask someone else to direct his film. By the time Steven was set to start the film, following Kubrick’s death (March 7, 1999), Harlan said he had uncovered 1,100 drawings Kubrick had prepared. Harlan said there are other projects Kubrick was preparing in script form. One of ’em, “Napoleon,” he said, was another by Spielberg. Others include “God-Fearing Man,” and “Lunatic at Large.” Harlan says other filmmakers, including Ridley Scott are anxious to make some of these projects.

INSTRUCTIONS FROM STEVEN SPIELBERG: Don’t call to read him the reviews of “A.I.” Don’t call him to read him the opening days’ box office. He’s busy directing his current movie, “Minority Report” (futuristic scenes of the thriller today in Washington D.C.). As always, he remains totally focused on what he’s doing, and not on what he’s done — although he gave some out quotes early on. Kathleen Kennedy, who produced “A.I.” with Steven and who has been working with him for 24 years, is also readying the bow of their “Jurassic Park 3,” July 18 and admits they are busy working on this one “down to the wire.” She says they were working “intensely” for two years on a “24-hour-a-day basis” to get “A.I.” ready to shoot. “We knew it would be extremely challenging.” They shot it completely in 68 days, and on a budget “nowhere near the pictures out this summer.” Yes, “significantly” under $100 million. “It went a little bit over on the f/x. But extremely close.” She reminds that Steven is someone who is clear about costs. “He learned early: ‘1941’. He got blasted by the press.” He has been extremely hard on himself to stay on (below) budget. “It’s all in the preparation,” Kennedy reminds of Spielberg’s clear vision — on paper as well, before starting the first take. “We are all extremely proud of it.” She says Steven planned the movie like three movements in music, opening up to grander and grander scales. He takes you by the hand through the unpredictable experience. It is an “experiential” movie. “Yes, there are reminiscences of other Spielberg (Kennedy) films, like ‘E.T.,’ ‘Close Encounters,’ ‘Empire of the Sun,’ ‘Temple of Doom,’ ” Kennedy allows. “But this one shows how he has matured as a filmmaker.” He also wrote the screenplay.

KATHLEEN KENNEDY SAYS THAT when Kubrick saw “Jurassic Park,” he first talked to Steven about “A.I.” and Steven began the long waffling back and forth on whether this was the project for him. Kennedy says Christiane Kubrick came to Steven after Stanley died and he then decided to do the film. “Steven came to me and we decided to do it,” says Kennedy. “Chris Baker did close to 800 extremely important story boards and we then went into discussions in pre-production on all components of the film. The last thing we wanted to do with this film was to make the audience aware of the special effects — and not the emotions (of the principals).” One of the major reasons “the emotion” is so overpowering in this film is the performance of Haley Joel Osment. It is truly the most amazing performance I’ve seen by any actor — young or older — since the performance by this 11-year-old in “The Sixth Sense.” Kennedy says Haley is still “a very normal kid, with fantastic parents who are intent on keeping him a normal child.” I found them to be so when I spoke to them on locations and at the Academy Awards. “A.I.” is rated PG-13; children Osment’s age cannot and should not see this film, Kennedy allows. Maybe he’ll be able to see one of the future films by Kennedy and Spielberg, “Lincoln.” Also for the future, Kennedy says she believes, “The older Haley gets, he may very well turn to directing — the way he thinks, observes.” Meanwhile, let’s hope he continues to act for a few more years. And that the team on “A.I.” continues to make movies for children of all ages.

More Film

  • Bob Iger arrives at the Oscars,

    Bob Iger: 'Challenging Work of Uniting Our Businesses' Lies Ahead for Disney

    Bob Iger marked the historic occasion of Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox with a lengthy memo to staffers that was candid about the challenges of the massive integration of people and cultures that lies ahead for the media giant. Related Kit Harington on 'Game of Thrones' Ending, Women of Westeros Watch Nintendo's Spring 2019 [...]


    'Traitors' Producer 42 Hires Literary Manager Eugenie Furniss

    Eugenie Furniss is joining London- and Los Angeles-based management and production company 42 as literary manager, it was announced Wednesday. The company’s slate include movie “Ironbark,” a Cold War thriller starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and TV series “Traitors,” a spy thriller coming to Netflix in the U.S. at the end of the month. Related Kit Harington [...]

  • Brad Pitt Leonardo DiCaprio Once Upon

    Quentin Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Trailer Drops

    The first look at “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is finally here, and Quentin Tarantino is taking audiences back to the height of hippie Hollywood. Related Kit Harington on 'Game of Thrones' Ending, Women of Westeros Watch Nintendo's Spring 2019 Nindies Showcase Here Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, the footage features a montage [...]

  • One-Cut-Of-The-Dead-Review

    Japanese Sleeper Hit ‘One Cut of the Dead’ Heads for English Remake (EXCLUSIVE)

    “One Cut of the Dead,” a micro-budget horror film that last year defied the odds to become one of the biggest hits of the year in Japan, is headed for an English-language remake. Related Kit Harington on 'Game of Thrones' Ending, Women of Westeros Watch Nintendo's Spring 2019 Nindies Showcase Here Patrick Cunningham, a Japan-based [...]

  • Come as You Are review

    SXSW Film Review: 'Come as You Are'

    The rare remake that’s actually a slight improvement on its predecessor, Richard Wong’s “Come as You Are” translates Geoffrey Enthoven’s 2011 Belgian “Hasta la Vista” to middle America. Other changes are less substantial, but this seriocomedy has a less formulaic feel than the original while remaining a crowd-pleasing buddy pic-caper with a soft-pedaled minority empowerment [...]

  • Strange Negotiations review

    SXSW Film Review: 'Strange Negotiations'

    In a era when some mainstream entertainers have transitioned to targeting faith-based audiences, David Bazan is moving in the other direction. The gifted songwriter’s ersatz band Pedro the Lion was perhaps the most successful Christian indie rock act of its time, and the first to significantly cross over to secular fans. Then he ditched that persona (and [...]

  • Bluebird review

    SXSW Film Review: ‘Bluebird’

    As affectionate as a love letter but as substantial as an infomercial, Brian Loschiavo’s “Bluebird” may be of most interest to casual and/or newly converted country music fans who have occasionally wondered about the songwriters behind the songs. There’s a better than even-money chance that anyone who’s a loyal and longtime aficionado of the musical [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content